02 July 2014

Toasty toes

I started radiation treatment this week and this will continue every weekday for the next five weeks.  Chemo will continue weekly.  In between hospital visits I have a lot of time on my hands and I am very grateful that I feel well enough and have enough energy to hold knitting needles and crochet hooks and apply my foot to the sewing machine pedal.  All of the above done in a much slower manner than usual, but I am not complaining.

I have just finished another ripple blanket.  This one is for John and me and will keep our toes warm on these cold winter nights.

I have been thinking about the positives of my treatment and, amazingly, there are quite a few.  I do have more time to myself, although admittedly, not always with enough energy to do much.  My hairless state means that the morning ablutions take much less time as I don't have to worry about washing and styling my hair.  I no longer have to shave my legs.  My fingernails have grown stronger.  I am reading a LOT of books.
I have met a lot of lovely people.

Last week I joined a very exclusive club called The Chemo Club.  This is a club run by a local gym for people undergoing cancer treatment.  Twice a week for an hour the club opens its doors so that we can do some gentle exercise under supervision.  I have never been a gym member so I don't know what the atmosphere is like when 'healthy' people are using the facilities.  However, I doubt they have as many laughs and there is as much camaraderie as the ladies in this group have.  As we peddle away on the bikes or pound away on the treadmills, everyone swaps stories and offers encouragement.  What great therapy.

Mum liked the blanket so much she put in a request, so now I have another one on the hook.

14 June 2014

Good days and not so good days

Today was a good day.  Some days are not so good so it is important to make the most of those that are.

I have had this urn for some time and had hidden it away in a corner as I no longer liked its dark appearance. Then one day it occurred to me that it would be improved with a coat of chalk paint.

A sunny warm winter day was all the impetus I needed to break open the tin of paint and get out the brushes.

Now my little brown urn has been given a new lease of life and it no longer has to be hidden away.  It looks so good it has been given a more prominent position in the house.  I wonder if a coat of chalk paint would give me a new lease of life?

Should I put it here?

Or here?

02 June 2014

Chemo quilt?

You may remember that I began this quilt several months ago and then 'other events' came into my life and the quilt took a back seat.  Then I decided that a little quilt therapy was needed so I have been making an effort to get it finished.

It is a simple, low volume, quilt made of  5" squares.  I quilted it using an easy grid pattern. Notice, the words simple and easy.  I must have had a premonition when I decided to make this quilt that I should keep it simple.  Anything more challenging would still be languishing, ignored and unloved, in a corner of the sewing room.

I chose this slightly abstract yellow check fabric for the binding.

The backing is this black and white fabric which I think is from Sarah Fielke's 'Frog Pond' range.

And now it is finished.  The only thing left to do is to name it.  I hesitate to call it the chemo quilt because I don't really want to create memories of this difficult time.  But the fact of the matter is that most of the work on this quilt was done while I have been undergoing treatment and it will no doubt always bring back those memories no matter what I call it.  Luckily the colours are light and pretty and hopefully, over time, the prettiness of the quilt will help the unpleasant memories to fade.

18 May 2014

A bump in the road of life's journey

When I made Maeve some time ago, the last thing I expected to use her for was this.

Chemotherapy was not something I had factored into my life at all. But I am now six weeks into my treatment, have lost most of my hair and Maeve has been very useful.  So has my large collection of scarves.

I have thought long and hard about whether or not to continue writing the cut cloth.  At first my heart wasn't in it, but as I came to terms with my diagnosis I decided that I should keep going, if only to put things in perspective.

Sometimes, as bloggers, I think we tend to sugarcoat life and give the impression that everything in our lives is always perfect.  I am sure I have been guilty of this in the past.  Well, my life is not perfect at the moment, but I have the support of a wonderful family and good doctors and together we are going to overcome this bump in the road.

I might not be making regular posts, but will pop in from time to time to update you on my progress and, hopefully, share what has been happening in the sewing room.

13 March 2014

Watercolour fun

If I was a painter, I would paint in watercolours. I love their faded beauty and the way they portray an impression rather than a precise image. Unfortunately I am not and doubt I ever will be a painter, but I can take photos and by using an app I have discovered, I can effortlessly transform my photos into watercolour paintings.

In my mind, flowers make the perfect watercolour picture, but I wondered if other images would also transform as well.  These coloured threads did.

This one is my favourite.  I think they would  make lovely note or greeting cards.

The app I is used is called Waterlogue.  It is very addictive.

02 March 2014

Happy village

I have never wanted to make an art quilt, or at least that was true until I saw Karen Eckmeier demonstrate her Happy Villages on The Quilt Show last year.  I have always been a sucker for cottages and villages and so I tucked away this idea for the future.  The future arrived last week and I was amazed how quickly this little quilt came together.  

On a small piece of batting, I started with a chunk of sky, added a mountain and then some ocean.  

Next I cut out lots of different step shapes.

And started to place these on the quilt.

The key is not to overthink where you are putting the shapes, simply put up them as quickly as possible.

Nothing like a village is it.  But when I started adding rooftops and windows, something magic happened.

When all the houses had been completed I covered everything in a very fine tulle which I quilted to hold it all in place.

 I couldn't resist adding a little umbrella to the terrace of the house at the bottom left.

And here is my little Cinque Terra village (with a bit of artistic licence).

24 February 2014

Keeping our cool

Here in Perth, summer is hanging on tenaciously and we are doing everything we can to keep cool.

My latest attempt in this regard is this delicious watermelon drink.  The ingredients couldn't be simpler: watermelon  and coconut water (I used about 3 cups of watermelon and 250 mls of coconut water, but you can vary this according to taste).  You can use plain coconut water, or a flavoured one.  I used mango and it gave the drink an extra dimension.  Throw everything in the blender with lots of ice.

So refreshing.